Everything Ellie touches turns to mold and begins to rot. Even her own mother is afraid of her. At school she’s a freak and other kids avoid her like the plague until the day Nate shows up. From Nate she learns more about her special abilities as well as the ones he has. She also discovers that she’s not the only one in the world who can do what she does, and that some would seek to control her and use her special power for their own gain. As she discovers more about the good side of her abilities, Ellie must find the strength to break away from her tightly controlled life to create a future for herself.
Beautiful Decay by Sylvia Lewis is an intriguing story with elements of both paranormal and horror. All her life Ellie has been told that she can’t touch people, so she feels isolated, alone and lonely. Her only friendship is online with McKenzie, who lives far away. She truly doesn’t know how to react when Nate treats her as though she’s a normal person. But when she discovers that Nate has secrets too, and she can be herself around him, she’s alternately freaked out and relieved.
While Beautiful Decay moves a little slowly at first, the pace picks up pretty quickly as it twists and turns in unexpected ways. Ellie is a strong character who has to overcome feelings of self-revulsion if she every hopes to make a connection with others. While her situation is unique, many teens will certainly be able to identify with her struggle to find the beauty in herself and her abilities. Will there be a sequel? I certainly hope so.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.